An Examination of Income Effect on Consumers’ Ethical Evaluation of Counterfeit Drugs Buying Behaviour: A Cross-Sectional Study in Qatar and Sudan IC01-IC04
Dr. Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim,
Professor of Social & Administrative Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University,
Al Tarfa, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar.
Introduction: There are limited studies on consumer behaviour toward counterfeit products and the determining factors that motivate willingness to purchase counterfeit items.
Aim: This study aimed to fill this literature gap through studying differences in individual ethical evaluations of counterfeit drug purchase and whether that ethical evaluation affected by difference in income. It is hypothesized that individuals with lower/higher income make a more/less permissive evaluation of ethical responsibility regarding counterfeit drug purchase.
Materials and Methods: To empirically test the research assumption, a comparison was made between people who live in the low-income country Sudan and people who live in the high-income country Qatar. The study employed a face-to-face structured interview survey methodology to collect data from 1,170 subjects and the Sudanese and Qatari samples were compared using independent t-test at alpha level of 0.05 employing SPSS version 22.0.
Results: Sudanese and Qatari individuals were significantly different on all items. Sudanese individuals scored below 3 for all Awareness of Societal Consequences (ASC) items indicating that they make more permissive evaluation of ethical responsibility regarding counterfeit drug purchase. Both groups shared a basic positive moral agreement regarding subjective norm indicating that influence of income is not evident.
Conclusion: Findings indicate that low-income individuals make more permissive evaluation of ethical responsibility regarding counterfeit drugs purchase when highlighting awareness of societal consequences used as a deterrent tool, while both low and high-income individuals share a basic positive moral agreement when subjective norm dimension is exploited to discourage unethical buying behaviour.